Overmanwarrior's Wisdom

Official Site of Rich Hoffman. Connecting the dots in a complicated world.

Bullwhip Consultant on Films

with 15 comments

After the Enquire article, one of the natural questions resulting was about how do you consult for films with whips?

Unfortunately, these days there are fewer films using whips as a part of the story line than there was in the early days of cinema. That of course is directly attributable to the decline of the western in modern film and television. But occasionally, a storyline comes forth that requires them, and a decision will be made on how to go about it from the studio. Recently, Whiplash from Iron Man 2 was produced which featured whips of a sort. But their approach was to use film of how a whip moves to create the effects in CGI.

But CGI works great in some cases, but not so great in others, and whip work is something that is more dramatic in real life. And such is a recent call I received from Peter Facinelli who I met at the Indie Gathering Film Festival while I was doing some firewhip work.

This is from the actual stunt demonstration where Peter and the director Rob Gunnerson were a part of.

They approached me about a project they were doing with RealD 3D where they wanted to capture the firewhips with RealD’s new 3D camera system in HD. So I flew out to LA to help them bring that project to life, called for now tentatively, The Delivery.

Peter of course is currently busy with the Twilight franchise, so further development of The Delivery is ongoing.

Here is the trailer that we shot, which consisted of a series of test shots to test the camera equipment. I served as the whip consultant and handler in all whip action. I am particularly proud of the shot we got where I cracked the cigarette backwards using one of my 12 foot bullwhips. The director wanted to do it for real, not in CGI, and we pulled it off with just a few takes.

View the Trailer at the links:
The Delivery 3D Trailer
The Delivery 3D | MySpace Video

More info and production stills can be found at this link.


Here are some images from the shoot:  Here Rob Gunnerson sets me up for the stand in work for Peter who is in the background. 

Here is Mat Wilig, who played the demon, standing with me.  We had the awkward issue of sharing a trailer on set since they were short one and we both had extensive makeup to do.  The very first thing I said to him was something negative about playing for the Panthers because I’m a Tampa Bay fan.  But after that, we got along well.   Matthew is recently retired from the NFL after 14 seasons. He played for 6 teams (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers). He went to 2 Super Bowls while winning 1 and losing the other. He is steadily rising up the Acting ladder and receiving acclaim as his roles get bigger and better.

Here is Rob and Peter going through the shots with me so we can measure distance for all the equipment. 

Here are the Producers, the face paint really got on my nerves after 12 hours.

Peter and I on break. 

Test shot of how the 3D camera’s were capturing the fireball given off by the firewhip.

Rich Hoffman


Written by overmanwarrior

September 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

15 Responses

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  1. [...] And it’s not always western arts. Sometimes it’s just doing stunt work, or stand in work for contemporary films. https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/bullwhip-consultant-on-films/ [...]

  2. [...] remember sitting in a trailer in Hollywood getting my make-up applied by the same woman that had just put on the make-up to Johnny Depp just hours before me, and she made comments about [...]

  3. [...] I did a thing for a friend of mine that involved fire whips, so they flew me out to work on a promo … It was supposed to be an informal deal. During the shoot, I had a bit of an argument with the set “grip” because he insisted on handling my fire whip equipment, which was the fuel I used, the fire extinguishers and the whips themselves. Since there were only a handful of people in the country that handle fire whips, it was impossible for the guy to safely do anything with them, so I had to swat him back to the camera track and out of my way while I set up the shot, which he did an excessive amount of complaining to the director. But during that experience, I sat and listened to the make-up people complain just like the fabricators standing around the coffee machine, the camera people making tremendous demands on the producers, people complaining about the food that the catering truck brought, and actors complaining about having to share trailer time. After that experience, I can see clearly films that have been ruined because the people behind the films stayed to strict union rules. California’s labor unions have pushed films into other countries. I now understand why George Lucas makes his films in Australia, and England. He doesn’t want to deal with all that mess, and it shows in the films he’s made. You can actually tell if you know what you’re looking for. [...]

  4. [...] and the downfall of Blockbuster. The emergence of cheap, big screen televisions, and the film distributers and production houses banking on 3D to keep people wanting to go to the theater, and not waiting for the film to show up on their Xbox where all they have to do is push a button [...]

  5. [...] believe me. Go watch a hundred Hollywood films and study the lead characters. How many of those lead characters were “strong” individualists. Then study how many of those [...]

  6. [...] My oldest daughter and I had a long talk under the stars till about 3 AM one night a few years ago a… [...]

  7. [...] yes the stunt are all real, no CGI, including the backward whip crack of the cigarette.) See a more detailed article on that here. In other words I know a bit about what I’m talking about regarding the film industry. Book [...]

  8. [...] and it may take years for people to gain an understanding of what the visionary was trying to say. That’s the case with this film. Released in 1971 it was taken away of Lucas’s control out of she…. Hollywood is incapable of making films like that on their own for all the reasons they cut 5 [...]

  9. [...] I have acquaintances that work in show biz that are very liberal and often times they see me as thei… and they won’t be happy as people until they unify their thoughts with their reality. But they don’t listen. Instead, they get tattoos and paint their bodies in drunken rages on occasion, because the social engineering doesn’t work, and their true natures only come out in drinking binges or in darkened theaters. [...]

  10. [...] I arranged to have an actress flown in to play the female lead; we brought in a stunt coordinator, c… [...]

  11. [...] So when you see a person that is keeping the Old West alive with a cowboy hat, guns, or a knife, tha… [...]

  12. [...] The reason these western artists gather at The Annie Oakley Festival, and not Las Vegas or some ot… [...]

  13. [...] The Hobbit hosted by Peter Jackson before we plunge into a bit of darkness in our discussion today. When watching this clip it reminded me of two things—first I am happy to see that Jackson is filmi…. Second—for the reasons that have held up The Hobbit as a production and almost prevented it from [...]

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